What Is Sentencing Disparity

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According to the book Corrections The Essentials by Mary K. Stohr and Anthony Walsh, a sentencing disparity occurs when there is a wide variation in sentences received by different offender that may be legitimate or discriminatory. A disparity is legitimate if it is based on crime seriousness and/ or prior record. If it is not then it is considered discriminatory. Sentencing guidelines can help attempts to address these disparities by determining how long a person should go to jail for each crime they committed. Some judges follow these guidelines and some do not. If a judge follows these guidelines then it is helping these attempts. These sentencing guidelines can also hurt these disparities because I think since our system of punishment isn’t so great these sentencing guidelines can be unfair. For example, two judges can be handed a similar case, one judge can…show more content…
Also race and gender plays a big factor when sentencing offenders. For example, in the book it states that African Americans receive harsher sentences on average than white or Asian American offenders and males have a longer sentencing than females. This is just causing people to be in jail who shouldn’t really be there and this is also the reason why jails are overpopulating. Someone who has possession of drugs should not be going to jail longer than someone who committed murder. Our system of sentencing isn’t so rational and fair when it comes to sentencing.

In the article about the treatment of transgender jail inmates in San Francisco, the San Francisco jail is trying to make a policy that houses female and male transgender inmates based on their gender identity, even if they had gender reassignment surgery. If a male identifies as a female but still
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